The Positive and Negative Effects of Exercise on Tinnitus and Hearing Loss

Tinnitus and hearing loss are widespread issues impacting a large number of people. Tinnitus is identified by a persistent ringing, buzzing, or humming noise in the ears, whereas hearing loss entails a decline in the capability to hear sounds. The severity of these conditions can vary from minor to severe and can significantly affect a person’s overall well-being.

The Power of Exercise

Exercise is highly regarded as a vital aspect of maintaining good health and wellness. Regular physical activity provides multiple benefits, from enhancing cardiovascular health to alleviating stress and anxiety. But have you considered that exercise can also have a favorable impact on tinnitus and hearing loss?

Thesis Statement: Balancing Your Ears and Your Workouts

It is true that the appropriate form of exercise can significantly improve tinnitus and hearing loss. By gaining insights into the connection between exercise and auditory health, individuals can make educated choices about their physical activity, leading to improved health and increased well-being.

The Science Behind Exercise and Auditory Health

Physiological Effects of Exercise on the Ear and Hearing

It is known that exercise has several physiological effects on the ear and hearing. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, naturally occurring chemicals that minimize pain and boost feelings of happiness. These endorphins can also minimize tinnitus symptoms. Furthermore, exercise boosts blood circulation to the inner ear, delivering crucial nutrients and oxygen that support healthy hearing abilities.

Stress Reduction and Tinnitus

Stress is frequently a factor that worsens tinnitus, and exercise has been demonstrated to be an efficient means of reducing stress and anxiety. Engaging in regular physical activity helps to lower stress levels, thereby reducing the impact of tinnitus symptoms.

Exercise not only reduces tinnitus symptoms but also enhances overall hearing abilities. Regular physical activity has been proven to increase blood flow to the inner ear, which helps maintain good hearing over time. Additionally, exercise improves cognitive function, enabling individuals with hearing loss to comprehend speech and sounds better in their surroundings.

Ways You May Be Making Tinnitus And Hearing Loss Worse via Exercise

Loud Music with High Heart Rate

Prolonged exposure to loud music can result in permanent hearing damage, especially when combined with elevated heart rate as increased blood flow and adrenaline can magnify the harmful effects of sound. The sound waves from loud music can harm the fragile hair cells in the inner ear, leading to hearing loss. A high heart rate also leads to increased blood flow to the ears, amplifying the destructive impact of the sound. To safeguard your hearing, it’s crucial to limit exposure to loud noises, especially when your heart rate is elevated.

Heavy Lifting

Intense weightlifting workouts can result in increased pressure within the brain and ears, particularly if you hold your breath. This elevated pressure can cause a small tear in the perilymph fistula, the membrane between the middle and inner ear, leading to symptoms such as ear fullness, tinnitus, dizziness, and hearing sensitivity. To avoid this, make sure to clear your ears before lifting by yawning or swallowing, do not lift weights that are too heavy, and ensure to breathe regularly. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid working out when you are sick.

Too Much Noise

The weight room also poses a risk to your hearing due to the loud noise of slamming weights, which can be similar to being exposed to a shotgun blast or an airbag deployment when heard from close range. To protect your hearing, ensure that you lift weights over padded flooring and try to avoid slamming the weights.

Exercise Classes Have Music Too Loud Often

For those who prefer spin class or Zumba over weightlifting, it’s important to be aware that music volume in these classes can often reach 90-100 dB, which is beyond the safe range. This combined with other gym noises can pose a threat to your hearing and even result in noise-induced hearing loss. If you experience ringing in your ears or muffled hearing after class, it’s a sign that the music is too loud. To protect your hearing, consider talking to the instructor about lowering the volume or wearing earplugs during class.

Just Be Aware and Educated

Exercise plays a crucial role in promoting overall health and wellness, including the health of our auditory system. While exercise can have a positive impact on tinnitus and hearing loss, it is important to be aware of the potential risks to our hearing that can come from certain types of physical activity. This includes the dangers posed by the loud music and noises in spin classes, weightlifting, and other group fitness classes. By taking steps to protect our hearing, such as wearing earplugs or asking for the volume to be turned down, we can continue to enjoy the numerous benefits of exercise while preserving our auditory health.

Jonathan Javid Au.D.

Jonathan Javid Au.D., a seasoned audiologist with an extensive background in the field of audiology. With over 11 years of invaluable clinical experience, Jonathan has dedicated his career to helping individuals enhance their hearing and improve their quality of life.

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